Notes from Executive meeting

by precastnz on July 16, 2014 · 0 comments

29 May 2014

To keep our Associate Members updated, we have decided to introduce a simple communication that lets you know what is happening in our organization. In essence it will just be some brief notes following our Executive meeting covering some of the items from the meeting but not full minutes which are sent to Corporate Members.  ↕ Scroll for more.

Our Executive meetings are held four times per year with an additional meeting held at the Concrete Conference which we encourage all Members and Associates to attend. This is a brief 90 minute meeting to provide an update on our activities.

This summary is to provide readers with a quick overview of our activities. You are welcome to contact us by email at or phone Executive Director, Rod Fulford on 0274 987 990 for further information on any aspect.


The committee was pleased to recognize Derek Lawley’s contribution to the precast industry by making him a Life Member. Derek requires no introduction. His name has been synonymous with Reid’s supplying componentry and services to the precast industry. Following his retirement, this was acknowledgement of the tremendous support he has provided.


Every second year we get together with our Australian counterpart for a joint meeting. This year it is being held in Queenstown on 21 & 22 August. These meetings have proved a valuable opportunity to discuss common issues and compare the different approaches taken each side of the Tasman. The Australians have proved very generous hosts and visits to their plants have added interest to our members attendance at meetings in Australia.
The PCNZ AGM will be held at the same time. This will be a brief affair, principally to approve the budget and membership subscriptions.


The 50th anniversary Concrete Conference will be held at Wairakei 9 – 11 October.
An interesting program is promised for this the 50th conference and it is recommended that registrations are made early if you want to be accommodated at the conference venue.

Precast NZ will be holding a meeting at 11am on Thursday 9th that all Members and Associate Members are invited to. Updates of our activities will be presented and it will be an opportunity for all to ask questions, raise items of concern, and have input into our activities. The conference program incorrectly lists the meeting as our AGM. It is not our AGM.

The Conference program and registration details are available on


Associate Member Ancon made a presentation of the products and services that they were able to offer our industry.


Jason Ingham and Pouya Sefi gave an outline of their program for testing common configurations and details used for connecting structural precast panels at foundations and above to resist face loads and in plane forces. Feedback was sought from Members at that meeting to ensure the results would be relevant.
Also being tested are seating details for 400mm hollowcore flooring units to determine their performance under seismic attack where they will be subject to pull off from beam elongation and severe rotation from inter story drift.

PCNZ is closely involved with both of these programs.

They are particularly relevant following the Canterbury earthquakes and the current amendment to the concrete design standard that is at committee stage.


In 2008 PCNZ was heavily involved in a revision to the Approved Code of Practice for Handling Transportation and Erection of Precast Concrete that was originally published in 2002. The Department of Labour had two representatives on the working group and took the final document in 2008 for final approval and publication.
In 2014, after departmental reorganizations and personnel changes it appears even further away from finalization and publication.

The original document covered a number of design considerations as this is a specialized area with little formal guidance on a number of design issues. Responsibility for these Codes of Practice has now passed to Worksafe New Zealand and they are primarily concerned with safe practices in the workplace and as such design issues may be out of place.


PCNZ is directly represented on the committee writing Amendment 3 of NZS3101 the concrete design standard. This is to incorporate lessons learned from the Christchurch earthquakes, and consider the Royal Commission recommendations. A number of improvements will be incorporated but some can not be addressed without further research and they will be considered for a later version. The next meeting of this committee will be held in Christchurch on 17 July.

PCNZ is represented on the Specialist Trade Contractors Federation and our representative was a member of the committee revising NZS3910 Conditions of Contract. That was split into three different standards and published last year. Their work was recognized by being awarded “Standards Committee of the Year” with presentations at a breakfast at parliament. Their work has received further recognition by receiving an Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Excellence Award in June 2014


There has been a significant increase in demand for precast concrete in Auckland as well as the Christchurch rebuild gathering pace. There appears a long awaited market improvement after several years of survival mode for many precasters. Hopefully the improvement will spread to other centres.


Alessandro Palermo from University of Canterbury is organizing a seminar on precast concrete to provide guidance for designers who may be unsure of the accepted best practices with the proliferation of information that was hastily put out following the Christchurch earthquakes.
This seminar series was planned for mid 2014 but is now deferred, likely to be in 2015.


The Specialist Trade Contractors Federation, and PCNZ Executive continue to push for legislation to provide for security of retentions being held in the construction industry. This may be in the form of an amended Construction Contracts Bill, but elections later this year mean it is unlikely to be considered until 2015 – 16. A Member of PCNZ Executive made a presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee considering the Bill.


PCNZ and other subcontractors has been supporting an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the issue of voidable transactions. Lower court judgments have established that liquidators are entitled to claw back legitimate payments made to subcontractors for some period prior (up to 2 years) to appointment of a receiver to a failed construction company. This increases the risks for subcontractors who already operate in a high risk environment.

The Supreme has heard the appeal and we are waiting on the judgment.


Disputes around tolerances have shown the importance of ensuring expectations are clearly incorporated in the subcontract.

Curing of precast is causing some concern. The conditions contained in many standard specifications differ from commonly accepted practice.

Inconsistent enforcement of specifications has caused problems. This is an issue that requires addressing.

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